Episode 1 - Bee Nice to Curators

May 30, 2008 14:00 by andi

I have had a mortal fear of bees and bee stings ever since I was a kid, having seen and heard one too many neighbourhood chums howling after being stung.

So far I’ve managed to avoid getting stung myself, so it is with great fascination (and relief at maintaining my safety record) that I can view a bee hive from behind glass at Melbourne Museum.

It’s truly an amazing sight to see the bees clambering over the comb and doing their thing: they must be among the busiest hardest working public servants around (except perhaps the drones – you’ll find out why in the pod cast).

Having pondered the notion that we must surely know everything about bees by now - well apparently not so, as we find out from entomology researchers ‘what still needs investigating’. I also ponder the notion: if the Museum specimens could talk, what would they say? I ponder, therefore I pod or rather, I podcast.

Bee nice to the curators and museum staff: they do important work! - Dr Andi

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Images: Simon the entomology enthusiast (Source: Dr Andi), Female worker bees 'working for reward' (Source: Museum Victoria), Luke is manager of live exhibits and 'King Bee' (Source: Dr Andi)

Show notes

More information

Find out ‘When is a bee not a bee?
Find out ‘Which bee is which?’
Go to information on the bee hive exhibit currently on display at Melbourne Museum.
Learn about how bees are one of the most social insects...


Buzz pollination - or sonication, is a technique used by a few species of bees to release the pollen from a flower’s antlers. The bees move their flight muscles really fast causing vibrations to dislodge the pollen.
Varroa mites - are parasitic mites that attack honey bees. They suck on the bee’s body weakening the bee. These mites can wipe out whole honey bee colonies.
Bar-coding - is a technique which uses a short segment of DNA to identify and track a particular species. Check out the CBC story 'Barcoding' the latest buzz in bee tracking for more information.



Mr Simon Hinkley,  Information officer (& Entomology enthusiast)
Dr Ken Walker,  Deputy Head of Sciences, Terrestrial Zoology
Mr Peter Lillywhite,  Collection Manager, Entomology & Arachnology
Ms Lucinda Gibson,  Project Officer, Entomology
Mr Luke Simpkin,  Manager, Live Exhibits
Ms Sarah Edwards,  Discovery Program Manager (& worker bee)
Ms Stella Young,  Programs Officer (& Queen Bee)
Mr Anthony Balla,  Senior Indigenous Public Programs Officer (& Drone)
Dr Andi Horvath,  Senior Curator, Science Communication


Mr Archie Cuthbertson, Podcast Recording Services


'Little Girl' Recording from a Violano-Virtuoso (Courtesy of our museum friends at The Musical Museum, London)

The Violano-virtuoso is a coin activated 'violin and 44 note piano' machine developed by the Mills Novelty Company of Chicago in 1905-6. Museum Victoria is presently restoring our own violano-virtuoso for future activation. Can’t wait to record it!

'Honey Boy' Edison Cylinder Recording, 1902 from the Museum Victoria collection.


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